Archives for posts with tag: Location: SR3DR

Ask The Dust, 2012

This was taken on not far from St. Paul’s, London, UK. I was lost, OK?

Ask The Dust  is a novel by John Fante. It was published in 1939.

The book is set during the depression era. The main character, Arturo Bandini, is quite obviously a stand-in for Fante himself – a writer struggling to both feed himself (he’s reduced to eating the zest of oranges at one point), and make it in Los Angeles. He falls in love with a waitress, Camilla Lopez, and finds out she has troubles of her own, including a dying lover. It’s a grand tragedy, and was a huge influence on Charles Bukowski. I read it in my rudderless twenties. The copy on our shelves was published by Rebel Inc. which was a very hip publishing house at the time (other authors include Knut Hamsun and Jim Dodge (hooray!).

Anyway, here’s the first paragraph:

One night I was sitting on the bed in my hotel room on Bunker Hill, down in the very middle of Los Angeles. It was an important night in my life, because I had to make a decision about the hotel. Either I paid up or I got out: that was what the note said, the note the landlady had put under the door. A great problem, deserving acute attention. I solved it by turning out the lights and going to bed.

In our house, the book can be found: sitting room, right-hand bookshelves, third shelf down.

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May I recommend for your delectation and delight a most wondrous photography blog full to the brim with melancholy and absence: Monochrome80iso.

My usual thanks to John and Deanne, who made me think about titles. Extra thanks to Deanne for  tag ideas etc (and for bitter-sweet and brilliant posts every day). Ta too to Terry for sending me bookshelfwards in search of ideas, and of course to Richard at CK Ponderings for being a super-cool collaborator. The most recent one is a few posts back, so check it out!

Fowlers End, 2012

This shot was taken on the Beckenham Road, UK.

Fowlers End is a novel by Gerald Kersh. It was published in 1957. Nowadays, Kersh is an almost forgotten writer. He’s probably best known for Night and the City (1938), which is a wonderfully grimy London tale. It has been adapted for film twice (the second time, bizarrely, with Robert de Niro in the lead role).

To my mind, Fowlers End is one of the funniest books about London ever written. It’s set in the fictional area of the title. The back cover blurb adds: “To this wildly debased neighbourhood comes Daniel Laverock, a strong, proud, awsomely ugly young man in search of employment.” He gets hired to manage the local movie house – a flea pit of course, and ends up locked in combat with his employer, the tyrannical Sam Yudenow.

The following is what grabbed me, one rainy day, as I gently steamed in a well-known chain bookstore (all spelling errors are intentional):

Snoring for air while he sipped and gulped at himself, talking between hastily swallowed mouthfuls of himself, fidgeting with a little blue bottle and a red rubber nose dropper, Mr Yudenow said to me: “Who are you, what are you, I duddo. But I like your style, what I bead to say – the way you wet about applyig for this ‘ere job.  Dishertive, dishertive – if you get what I bead – dishertive is what we wat id show biz. Arf a tick, please – I got to take by drops.”

He filled the dropper with some pale oily fluid, threw back his head and sniffed; became mauve in the face, gagged, choked; blew into a big silk handkerchief, and then continued, sighing with relief: “Wonderful stuff. It’s deadly poison. But it loosens the head.” He showed me the contents of his handkerchief, which might have been brains.

You can read more about Gerald Kersh here.

In our house, this book can be found: Sitting Room, right bookcase, third shelf down.

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John and Deanne gave me the initial push into titling my works. Big thanks to Deanne for the encouragement and for inspiring elements of these posts. Also to Terry for sending me to the bookshelf in search of ideas, and to Richard at CK Ponderings for being a cool collaborator. Our latest is due Sunday!